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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-05

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Battling Against Time
  • [02] New Air Tragedy
  • [03] Katrina Whirls PC's
  • [04] Hooligans Home Alone
  • [05] Eventful Clashes in Turkey
  • [06] Iraqi Interior Ministry Attacked
  • [07] Accession With Conditions
  • [08] Britney's London
  • [09] Schroeder-Merkel: 1-0

  • [01] International Outcry for the Slow Response Battling Against Time

    05 Sep 2005 11:08:00 (Last updated: 05 Sep 2005 13:08:13)

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: CNN - BBC - NA -

    The rescue crews are making great efforts to locate the last survivors between the ruins of flooded New Orleans. However, officials are reminding that they have neither the means nor the time to save everyone. The stadium and the convention centre have been evacuated and thousands of refugees have been transferred to Texas and other neighbouring states. In spite of that, there are those who are refusing to leave New Orleans, despite growing concerns of the imminent outbreak of epidemics. For this reason, the de-watering operations are expected to commence soon. However, as per Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff, the operations will bring to light tragic and unprecedented images. Chertoff stressed that the scenes will be the most unimaginable ones following the 9/11 attacks, while he admitted that the death toll is in the thousands. At the same time, the outcries against the US President and the way the situation was handled are mounting. As per an opinion poll conducted on behalf of Washington Post and the ABC, 51% of the Americans believe that the Governments response to the disaster was "poor" or "not so good". George Bush will be visiting the affected areas once again today, while State Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld toured the area on Sunday.

    Fear for the Future

    In the meantime, the future for the New Orleans refugees who are being transferee to the neighbouring states, where the conditions are nowhere near welcoming and ideal, appears grim

    In Texas, where some 230,000 people have already been transferred, the Authorities are stressing that they cannot accept any more refugees, while they asked the Government to airlift them to other states.

    At the same time, many questions regarding the slow federal response remain, while the outcries are escalating.

    "Nature was the one responsible for the initial disaster, but in the last four days, it is the people who are responsible," declared an enraged New Orleans citizen a little before departing from the city.

    Harvard Sociology Professor Christopher Jenks noted that the images of the bodies floating in the flooded streets and the multitude of people desperately awaiting help in the citys stadium are a shame for America. He added that they look as if they have been abandoned by the state.

    The USA asked the EU and NATO for emergency aid in order to deal with the crisis. Specifically, Washington asked for blankets, food, water and medicines, while over 60 European countries have already offered help.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [02] At Least 130 Dead New Air Tragedy

    05 Sep 2005 07:53:00 (Last updated: 05 Sep 2005 13:24:10)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: Reuters, Associated Press, ANA

    A Mandala Airlines plane crashed and burst into flames just after takeoff from the city of Medan, on Sumatra, Indonesia, at 5:45am (Greek local time). According to the companys acting president, the Boeing 737-200 was carrying 112 passengers and a 5-member crew. As per information so far, more than 100 of the passengers have been killed, as well as 30 people on the ground, since the plane practically fell on their heads, as it crashed into a heavily populated area. The Antara news agency broadcast that at least six people had survived the crash, without specifying whether they were passengers or crewmembers. An Indonesian government spokesperson stressed it was too early to release casualty figures, while he added that the Governor of North Sumatra province was onboard and may be included in the dead. Transport Minister Hatta Radjasa stressed that it is the worst tragedy and the bloodiest airplane accident in the country in the last five years. The plane was heading for Jakarta.

    Panic on the Ground

    Ambulances and fire engines rushed to the scene immediately.

    According to a paramedic assisting in the rescue operations, the medical crews are having a hard time getting to the bodies, because of the heat.

    Scenes of destruction unfolded, as the plane came down on a heavily populated area and as a result, dozens of houses were damaged, while at least 10 cars were destroyed. In fact, some of the casualties are people who were on the ground at the time. Medan is Indonesias third largest city.

    Chaos prevails in the citys hospitals, where the dead and injured are being transferred. As per hospital sources, most of the bodies are charred, a fact that would make the identification process harder.

    Mandala Airlines president mentioned that the plane had been constructed in 1981 and was capable of flying for at least another eight years. The company is being investigated by Indonesian military officers, while a senior officer of a western non-government organisation declared of AFP that the airline has a bad reputation.

    The plane crashed just one minute after takeoff, some 500 metres from the airport.

    The causes of the accident are being investigated, while the authorities have ruled out foul play.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] Hackers Get Inspired by Tragedies Katrina Whirls PC's

    05 Sep 2005 13:00:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    In the US, hackers are being inspired by the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina in order to infect million of users pcs. Fraudulent emails have already started to make their appearance under the cover of updates over the victims of Katrina. The tactics of the hackers is well known, since similar incidents took place after the December 26 tsunami. Antivirus software companies urge users to delete such emails immediately, and to continuously update their installed anti-virus programs. Users should also beware of emails asking for donations for the stricken.

    Beware of "Read More"

    A short description of the latest events is included in the emails text, but poses no risk. It is noteworthy that the text is not the same in all emails. The danger for the unsuspected users is hidden in the link entitled Read More. Once clicking on the link a Trojan virus infects the pc and gives the hackers full access and control of the users files. Antivirus software companies urge users to delete the messages immediately. They also advise a regular update of antivirus programmes installed in pcs.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] Hooligans Behind Closed Doors Hooligans Home Alone

    05 Sep 2005 11:34:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: Reuters

    The Dutch Ministry of Justice will trial test a pioneering program that will keep hooligans away from stadiums. A pc equipped with voice verification software will call the hooligans at their home shortly before the referee whistles the start of the match, in order to verify if they are home and not in the stadium causing havoc. Beforehand the hooligans will have agreed with the Authorities over the phrases that they will have to voice in order for their identity to be recognised. The system, state the authorities will be able to detect if the call is made by a cell phone or a landline. The Justice Ministrys program will be tested on fans of the teams of Ajax, Feyenoord, and Greek footballer Nikos Machlas former team Vitesse.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] In an Ocalan Followers Protest March Eventful Clashes in Turkey

    05 Sep 2005 12:26:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    At least 144 persons were injured during clashes between followers and opponents of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan in the area of Bozuyuk, in Turkey. The clashes started when residents of Bozuyuk attacked the protest march of Ocalan followers, while following policemen also intervened. The protestors were holding banners with slogans supporting their leader, and condemned the living conditions of imprisoned Ocalan. On Saturday night, similar incidents took place in Istanbul with Kruds protesting for the above reason. The Turkish Police used tear gas and water to disperse the protestors, while it arrested 88 people.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Two Dead, Five Injured Iraqi Interior Ministry Attacked

    05 Sep 2005 10:06:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: Reuters - NA

    At least 30 gunmen launched an attack against Iraqs Interior Ministry, resulting in the death of two police officers and the injury of another five. As per Ministry sources, the gunmen were in 10 cars and opened fire against the police officers using rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and automatic rifles. In the meantime, in the effort to curb rebel attacks, the Iraqi government decided to implement an odd-even traffic regulation system in Baghdad as of Tuesday. As per an official announcement, the cabinet decided to adopt the rule, following the formation of committees responsible for energy and infrastructure, and due to the emergency situation. The regulation will not apply for taxis and government vehicles, while offenders will face hefty fines.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] After the Necessary Reassurances By Turkey Accession With Conditions

    05 Sep 2005 12:03:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin supports the start of Turkeys accession negotiations, only if Turkey gives the necessary reassurances on Cyprus recognition. The French PM stated that every country committed in an accession procedure should have "a calm relationship with the rest of the European countries." Speaking on a radio station show broadcast on Sunday, he underlined "we cannot make Turkeys candidacy disappear with the blink of an eye." "I support the start of the accession negotiations from the time that we receive the reassurances asked for," he said, and added "the decision for Turkeys possible accession after the end of negotiations will have to submitted in the vote of the French people, in a referendum promised by French President Jacques Chirac."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] Due in September Britney's London

    05 Sep 2005 10:36:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The list of celebrities who are choosing peculiar names for their children continues to grow. Following Gwynneth Paltrow, who named her little girl Apple, Britney Spears also decided to be original, choosing to name her baby boy after the city where she met her husband Kevin Federline. According to the Sun, the popular pop star is expecting a boy and she in thinking of naming him London Preston. If the baby was a girl, she had chosen the name Addison Shy.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] In Sunday's Debate Schroeder-Merkel: 1-0

    05 Sep 2005 09:21:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    During Sundays debate, Social-Democrat Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder appeared superior in front of the cameras compared to his Christian-Democrat rival Angela Merkel, just two week before the general elections in Germany. The Chancellor defended his reforms with decisiveness, as opposed to Merkel, who did not demonstrate the expected self-confidence and aggressiveness. As per an opinion poll conducted by TV network ARD after the debate, 54% of the viewers believed that Schroeder was more convincing, compared to Merkel, who only managed to impress 31% of those asked. However, following the end of the 90-minute TV duel, political analysts estimated that Merkels presence was quite satisfactory, given the charisma and experience of Schroeder in front of the cameras.

    Schroeder's Harsh Attack

    Things got heated up from early on, when Merkel accused her opponent of unreliability between himself and his party members.

    Although Schroeder was initially reserved, he soon found his pace and dominated the conversation, using irony and harshly attacking his rival.

    Schroeder focused on Merkels economic policy, accusing her of taxing nurses and millionaires at the same rate.

    He also asked that the reforms he has implemented be continued, so as to secure the future of "our children and grandchildren", while he also referred to the war in Iraq, describing it as a "useless war", which he managed to avoid.

    Economy at the Focus

    On her part, Merkel described her party as "a modern 21st century party", stressing, however, that she cannot promise everything. She also noted that boosting the countrys rocky economy was of vital importance, so that Germany can be a strong, reliable party in the world.

    The two rivals did not touch on matters of foreign policy, other than Merkel reminding the Christian Democrats opposition to Turkeys accession in the EU and insisting that a proposal for a "privileged relationship" for Turkey would be more honest than a promise that could be in danger of failing.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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